Mar. 8, 2017
Bleeegh. I do not perform well in the cold. My mattress decided to give up during the night. No amount of blowing it back up could get my the rest that I needed. It also dropped down a lot cooler than I was expecting. I sat huddled in my sleeping back for over an hour waiting for the sun to come up. My gloves got wet so it took me a while to get everything put up but, like always, I managed (albeit with a bit more grumbling and swearing than usual). I also wasn’t in the mood to fix my sleeping pad while my hands froze. That would come back to bite me.
I was caught with a dilemma today. There is water located at mile 20 and mile 10 but not at 15. Should I push or take it easy or should I just pack all the water I can and ration it? 2.5 Liters is typically more than enough for most people but I really like to stay hydrated and with cooking and cleaning my pot, I would have to be more careful with it than I like. There was, however, another option. I could hike up to White Rock Mountain where they had a well and, possibly, some free camping. I decided that some new views would be nice. And, hey, why not explore when I have the chance? The rest of the hiking was uneventful. There was a steep half-mile climb up to White Rock but I made it there by 4:00 and knew I made the right choice. I was greeted by some cute little cabins, previously-mentioned well, and a heck of a view!
I met an old-timer who said he’s been coming here for 50 years. He said I might be able to score a free campsite or I might have to pay. Either way, I should go ask at the Ranger’s Station. He handed me a bottle of water and a diet Dr. Pepper and left. I was on Cloud Nine. There was a beautiful lookout with little arrows pointing to nearby towns and how far away they are on the rocks. Seeing for miles all around, standing on a ledge so far above the earth… was exhilarating. I felt so small but so alive. What else does the world hold and how much can I experience of it?
The Ranger’s had a sign saying they weren’t there with a number to call and that got me nowhere. After taking in all of the sights, I decided to camp and if they wanted me to pay then they would let me know. I was the only one camping there as far as I could tell. I attempted to fix my mattress (2 small holes on the side that I sleep on. No idea how…) but the glue asks for 24 hours to dry. I only have 5 or 6 at the most. I caught a beautiful sunset and was so entranced that I nearly forgot to take a picture. My mind is really starting to quiet down out here. Tomorrow, I go home…